If you try to view it as a conventional film it might be difficult to grasp it. If you instead watch it as an allegorical tale narrated with actors it is a truly mesmerizing piece, almost trance inducing with great visuals. Some might see it is an orientalist cash-grab, but for me it felt like an homage. BUT a real shame on MUBI for showing this dubbed, and horribly dubbed at that.
Although not as dazzling or spellbinding as Sayat Nova, his finest masterpiece IMHO; the costumes, the props, the gorgeous sets, and also the story, are still AH-MA-ZING! It's like a trip to a cultural museum once again, a Georgian cultural museum it is.
Parajanov and co. evolved toward a refined and unique aesthetic, prizing still cameras and curiously baroque mise-en-scène. The effect is of a conjuring. There is a sense of black magic, of occult or pagan undertaking. THE LEGEND OF THE SURAM FORTRESS uses myth and folk history as a vehicle serving these ends. These films present an opulent bed of riches. Deliciously hallucinatory stuff!